Filth (2013)

The latest Irvine Welsh adaptation, Filth whets the appetite for Porno, the long awaited sequel to Trainspotting.  Filth tells the story of a mentally ill, bigoted, drug addled Scottish police detective as he bids to secure promotion and win back his wife.

Filth is almost certainly the best Welsh adaptation since Trainspotting. It’s filthy, vicious, vile, hilarious and moving all at once. The cast includes Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots and each actor and actress excels in their respective role. None of them can hold a candle to James McAvoy, however.

Playing the protagonist, Bruce Robertson, McAvoy puts in a transcendent, transformative performance.  Robertson is one of the most despicable lead characters one could ever hope to encounter and yet McAvoy somehow makes him sympathetic all the same. On top of this, it’s clear that he really enjoyed playing this dark, twisted character, infusing the role with menace and disgust, but equally with a deliciously dark wit.

This is certainly not a film for everyone. It’s messed up, depressing and at times, plain wrong. That’s it’s also hysterically funny is all part of the wonderful dichotomy that is the work of Irvine Welsh.

Perhaps too depressing to have become a mainstream hit on the level of Trainspotting, Filth nonetheless borders on being a sublimely deranged masterpiece. Sure it has its flaws but it more than makes for them in so very many ways.

Not for those who are easily offended but hey, if you’re easily offended, what are you doing here?


Review by Dave Coughlan

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